RG 108: Personal Papers of Roye Lowry, 1958-1985

Collection Number
RG 108
Roye Lowry was an active member of the Arlington community for decades, serving in various positions of local government and participating in numerous capacities of volunteer work. Lowry came to Arlington in 1957 after serving in the foreign service and in 1961 was elected to the Arlington County Board, where he served for a single term. He ran under the nonpartisan Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC) slate and served as Board Chairman for a year in 1964. He was also Chairman and member on the Civic Federation’s Revenue and Expenditures Committee and its Schools Committee. In 1965, Lowry was defeated in the county board race by Republican Kenneth M. Haggerty.

Additionally, Lowry served as a PTA member and officer at the then-Glencarlyn Elementary School (now Campbell Elementary School), Kenmore Middle School, and Wakefield High School. Among his other civic appointments were: President of the Metropolitan Council of Governments; Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Council of Governments; Treasurer of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission; and Chairman of the Arlington County Industrial Development Authority. Additionally, he held positions in the Forest Glen Civic Association beginning in 1961 and was one of its delegates to the Arlington County Civic Federation. These included: Chairman of the Special Committee on Housing, Chairman of the Housing Committee, and member of the Executive Committee; representative to the School Board Budget Advisory Council and a citizen member of the school system’s Social Studies Advisory Committee.
Scope and Content
RG 108 measures 2.5 linear feet and spans the years 1958 to 1985. Most of the materials are concentrated in the years surrounding Lowry’s time campaign for office and his time in office, from 1961-1965. This collection contains materials from Roye Lowry’s personal documents relating to his time in public office, his campaigns for public office, as well as general materials relating to the governance and development of Arlington.

Included in the collection are a variety of materials related to the campaigns and elections of various county officials. Additionally, there are materials related to Lowry’s own campaigns and election to the County Board. Having run as a candidate for Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC), there is a focus on candidates who ran with that organization.

A bulk of the working materials are related to Lowry’s involvement with the Arlington Civic Federation Housing Committee and the Arlington School Board. Series 6, Publications, largely focuses on development and planning. Many were published by Arlington County, both on a countywide scale and in individual departments and committees. Also included is a thesis draft written by a student at Michigan State University that focuses on the role of the ABC in partisan politics. Finally, Series 9, Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, is composed of newspaper clippings collected by Lowry, the bulk of which were put together in a scrapbook by Lowry. These articles are on a range of topics related to Arlington during Lowry’s time in government. Most of the articles are complete, but many were not designated with a publication source or date, and some clippings are incomplete fragments of the original articles.
Arrangement and Description
Record Group 108 is arranged into series thematically. Within the series, materials are organized chronologically. Titles in quotation marks (“”) indicate that the materials in these folders were originally filed together by Lowry and have been kept in their original order and labeled as they were originally labeled. There are some oversized materials in this collection, which have been moved to appropriate housing. Separation sheets have been added to denote their original placement.
Roye Lowry donated these materials to the Center for Local History in 2002.
There are no research restrictions on this record group.
Related Collections
An oral history interview was conducted with Roye Lowry in 2007 as part of the “Smart Growth Documentary” project documenting the development of the Metro system. Its call number is VA 974.4295 A7243oh ser. 8. No. 10.

An oral history was conducted by the Library with Dr. Kenneth Haggerty, who defeated Roye Lowry in the County Board election in 1965. Recorded in 1985, it details Haggerty’s time in office and its call number is VA 975.5295 A7243oh ser.3 no.52.

The records of Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC) are housed in RG 94, and contain information on the organization from 1948-1992, including significant overlap with Roye Lowry’s time in office.

Photos of Roye Lowry can be found in PG 100, Arlington County Photographs, 1898-1997. A published version of the Michigan State study conducted by Franklin Felt, “A Study of a Nonpartisan Political Organization: The Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC),” can be found at the Center for Local History with call number 363.975 F325s. A preliminary draft of the study is included in this collection in file 4 of Series 6, Publications.